The Corner

The Potemkin Parliament

EU Referendum’s Richard North on the meaninglessness of the EU elections:

If EU politics was normal politics, on the national model, there could be change. Parliamentarians – in theory at least – could demand it and MPs holding themselves up for election with ambitions of forming a government could pledge change in their manifesto. But in the euros, there are no manifestos because the right of initiative is the prerogative of the EU commission. All the MEPs can do is conform with the “working programme” set by the commission, their power confined to making tweaks round the edges.

That is another of the reasons why the euro-elections are unreal. They don’t matter because MEPs don’t matter. They are a supreme irrelevance, serving as the gloss on a fundamentally anti-democratic system, there to give it the appearance of legitimacy.

The trouble is that, as the EU takes over more and more powers, and thus expands its legislative range, it also marginalises our own Westminster MPs. They also become irrelevant, thus ending up filling their idle hours with increasingly inventive schemes for self-enrichment.


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